There are three steps how to find the latest software for your business.
Ask partners, competitors, and ‘techies’. This will help you see what other companies or organizations are using to solve the same problems that you have. Talking with partners can also be a great resource. The value in talking to ‘techies’ is to get the latest software advice. They are also more knowledgeable about free alternatives and how else your problem might be solved. It’s very important to explain why you need this type of software, who will be using it, and what functionalities you need and want.
Ask where they buy their software. Then ask how they decide between the available software choices. Do they have a favorite review website for software? Can you watch them use their software to compare against the others? Is any functional freeware that will serve the same purpose?
This is a combination of search engines and review websites. Use the review websites to see what others think about the product. Also, it can be important to see how reputable the company is. For example, if you are looking for enterprise software for your large business, the company offering the service and support must be one that you want to work with. They should have good customer service reviews and plentiful support online. Make sure to ask what types of support are offered. For example, if you are more comfortable with telephone or internet chat support, make sure that it is offered by that company for that software.
Use your favorite search engine and type in each phrase (without the quotation marks): “_______ review” “_______ software review” “top ________ software” “best __________software” “free __________ software” “______ software 2013 [or current year]” “top 10 _______ software” “online ______ software”
Review websites: CNet.com, Amazon.com (often the cheapest option,) PCmag.com, PCworld.com, Softpedia.com, Squidoo.com. Make sure to download from a reputable website. Also, do not click on any ads on these websites. They often look like more reviews but are not useful and possibly dangerous.
Research the company that built the software: BBB.org, maps.google.com, yelp.com, yellowpages.com, plus.google.com, citysearch.com, local.yahoo.com.
Look for a free trial. If the switching costs are not too large, you can look for a 7-day or month trial of using the latest software. If you are looking at an enterprise-level software, contact the company asking for a trial even if they do not offer one. Tech companies are often very forward-looking and often make exceptions like that.
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